Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

    **MATERIAL ON THIS SITE IS COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. For permission on reprints or reusing this material, please contact the individual authors. For sharing the actual post, please use the share buttons.

  • Blog Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 93,343 hits
  • RSS April’s Blog: A Writer’s Journey

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS Barn Door Book Loft

    • Weekly Winners
      Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft. And before we announce our winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to these Christian authors who offered a sample of their writing to our faithful readers:Kelly Irvin who offered her Amish Romance The Bishop's Son. June Bliss who offered her Women’s Fiction Starfis […]
    • Winners of Books
      Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft. And before we announce our winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to these Christian authors who offered a sample of their writing to our faithful readers:J.M. Downey who offered her Political Suspense Privileged. Ann Allen who offered her Non-fiction Out of the Darknes […]
    • Are You This Week's Winner?
      Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft. And before we announce our winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to these Christian authors who offered a sample of their writing to our faithful readers:Rick Barry who offered his Suspense:  The Methuselah Project. Candee Fick who offered her Contemporary Romance:  Ca […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • And the Laurel Winner Is....
      2016 LAUREL AWARD WINNERAuthor Delia Latham's novel ~At First Sight~is the winner of Clash of the Titles's sixth annual Laurel Award.CONGRATULATIONS, DELIA!Delia will receive the following: a beautiful banner to display on her website; a year-long page on COTT dedicated to the winning book, At First Sight; a feature tour on COTT's Blog Allianc […]
    • March Releases Clash Results!
      The Votes have come in, and we've tallied them all up!Such a wonderful list this month, but we can have only one victor! And that winner is.............DRESSED FOR DEATHby Julianna DeeringCongratulations, Julianna!!And a big thank you to all our clashing titles this month!About the book:A Regency-Era Costume Party Should Have Been an Amusing Diversion, […]
    • March 2016 Releases Duke it Out on COTT!
      Welcome back to our arena! The following authors are stepping onto our sands, ready to wield their mighty pens. Please look at each of their covers and descriptions and choose a favorite. Which would go on the top of your to-be-read pile? Be sure to make your choice in the actual survey, as those in the comments section alone won't be calculated into th […]
  • RSS Little Bits Blog

    • What's With the Jumpsuits?
      I've been shopping for new clothes. Having lost about 40 lbs I'm in desperate need of new clothes. This spring there seems to be a 'new' fashion statement. Jumpsuits and rompers. I can understand pre-toilet trained children wearing these things but adult women? Nope.There's an intrinsic problem with them. They are a pain to go to the […]
    • Something New
      So, Simple Thoughts on Philippians is now available in Kindle and Print formats. It's free for all Kindle Unlimited subscribers and only $2.99 for Kindle purchase and $6.99 for print. I get about the same royalty for either type of purchase so I'd recommend the Kindle version. It's cheaper. Please remember to post a review once you've rea […]
    • Good News and Bad News
      So, in my life there is good news and bad news. The good news is that Simple Thoughts on Philippians is available on Amazon in Kindle and print format. I will be formatting for large print very soon.The Kindle version is $2.99 or if you have Kindle Unlimited it is free to read. The print version is $6.99. As of today, 02/21, it's only available at the C […]
  • RSS Living Our Faith Out Loud

    • Clash of the Titles 2016 Laurel Winner Delia Latham
      2016 LAUREL AWARD WINNERAuthor Delia Latham's novel ~At First Sight~is the winner of Clash of the Titles's sixth annual Laurel Award.CONGRATULATIONS, DELIA!Delia will receive the following: a beautiful banner to display on her website; a year-long page on COTT dedicated to the winning book, At First Sight; a feature tour on COTT's Blog Allianc […]
    • Jan Karon Come Rain or Come Shine
      Mitford fans...rejoice!Dooley and Lace are tying the knot...#13 has arrived.Come Rain or ShineJan KaronSeptember 2015About the Book:Over the course of twelve Mitford novels, fans have kept a special place in their hearts for Dooley Kavanagh, first seen in At Home in Mitford as a barefoot, freckle-faced boy in filthy overalls.Now, Father Tim Kavanagh's a […]
    • National Foster Care Month with Anne Garboczi Evans
       Welcome Anne Garboczi Evans, to celebrate National Foster Care Month.Anne, a licensed foster care provider, shares about two books that help anyone learn more about caring for those who need a safe and stable home.Learn more at National Foster Care Month CoalitionAnne is offering an electronic copy of each of her books in a drawing from those who comment or […]
  • RSS Nearly Brilliant

    • The Color of the Season by Julianne MacLean
      NOTE:  Due to a serious need to cut back on my workload, this will be my last official book review on this blog.It doesn’t seem possible that the evening can get any worse for police officer Josh Wallace after he is dumped by the girlfriend he planned to propose to, but it does.  Josh and his partner are shot while chasing a carjacking suspect. While on the […]
    • Book Review: Swept Away (Trouble in texas Book 1) by Mary Connealy
      Ruthy MacNeil is rescued by Luke Stone after she nearly drowns fording a flooded river with a wagon train. Her step family doesn’t survive and she is finally free of their mistreatment. Luke surived the horrific ordeal as a prisoner of war in notorious Anderson prison during the civil war, only to learn that his father has been killed and the family ranch st […]
    • Book Review of Everything She Ever Wanted by Ann Rule
      When Pat Taylor wed Tom Allanson he had no way of knowing it would destroy his life in just a matter of weeksIn fact, Pat destroyed a lot of people’s lives. The attractive Southern belle was spoiled by her mother and she expected to live a lavish lifestyle at any cost. Nobody crosses Pat who was fascinated with Scarlett O’Hara. Pat could pour on the charm, b […]
  • BLOG NEWS

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
  • Second Monday: Sophie Dawson

  • Tuesdays – Promotion in Motion

  • Wednesdays: Life of a Writer – April & Positivity – Lisa Lickel

  • Thursdays – Luther’s on board

  • Fridays – Revolutionary Faith, Devotions by Elaine

  • Saturdays – Janet Perez Eckles

  • Sunday – Reflections Book Reviews

  • Blog Authors

  • The Barn Door

  • The Barn Door Book Loft. Free Books! Book Giveaways.

  • John 3:16 Marketing Network widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! Not seeing a widget? (More info)>

Something Missing

Posted by Jennifer Slattery on July 30, 2010

I love hearing about other people’s marriages. Especially those that have gone from struggling to healing, from bitterness to forgiveness, and from distance to intimacy. Intimacy is the continual disclosure of self with diminishing fear. Intimacy is marriage as God intended it. Now, imagine two people, united by God, after ten, twenty, thirty, even fifty years of mutual self-disclosure and you will have a glimmer of marriage as God designed it to be.

Today Becky Melby is sharing her own marriage journey and how God sifted through her false expectations in order to draw her closer not only to her husband, but ultimately, to Him. Thank you, Becky, for sharing your story with us.

~                        ~                      ~                         ~                          ~                            ~

About twenty-six years into my marriage, I had a shocking revelation: My husband is not God. The knowledge rocked my cranky little world. It meant 1.) He was not equipped to read my mind, 2.) He had an excuse for not being the perfect lover of my soul, and 3.) He didn’t possess the ability to love and accept me unconditionally.

Those of you who are silently mouthing “Well, duh…” are now excused. I only need to address the few who may have, on occasion, been guilty of expecting too much from a mere mortal spouse.

Before I get into the ramifications of that revelation, let me paint a picture of my life up to that point. I was fifteen when I met Bill. His gorgeous blue eyes made my knees weak. His whispers in my ear sent glorious goosebumps winging all the way to my toes. We dated for four years. During that time I broke up with him at least four times. Not because I didn’t love him. Not because I doubted his love for me. I broke up with him because something was missing.

Bill was kind, considerate, affectionate, and attentive, but there were times he didn’t seem to “get” me. There were times he actually seemed disappointed in me. He missed my Prince Charming mark…only by a fraction, but wasn’t he supposed to be The One who would fill up all my empty places and make me feel whole? Wasn’t he supposed to be the soul mate who would look into my eyes and know my every thought, who would love me perfectly no matter what mood I was in or how I responded to him? I dated a couple of guys during those break-up times, but none of them had “it” and they just made me miss Bill all the more. So we got back together, I vowed to be content, and we got married. Surely that indefinable sense of lack would disappear when we said, “I do.”

It didn’t. Seven years and two kids into our marriage I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. Bill followed soon after. Now this is where I desperately wish I could say, “And I found in the Lord everything I’d been looking for and to this day we live in marital bliss.”

I can’t. Because even though I had given my life to Jesus, I hadn’t given up my expectations of Bill. In fact, they increased. Certainly a Christian husband would be able to read my soul. He would still bring me flowers even with bills piling up, two days worth of dishes littering the counter, and an inch of Cheerios crunching underfoot. He would still sweep me off my feet even though I hid my unbrushed hair in a bandana and moped around in oversized, wrinkly blue work shirts. Like spiritual Teflon, a Christian husband would let my sarcastic remarks slide right off his perfect back and he’d respond with words of affirmation.

He didn’t. He even had the audacity on several occasions to walk out of the room before I’d finished.

I don’t want to give the impression that we were miserable during the first two and a half decades. We weren’t. We raised four sons and became grandparents during that stretch of time. Our photo albums are filled with wonderful memories. But my journals are filled with discontent. Life was good, our marriage was good…but never quite good enough.

And then came the day twelve years ago when God impressed that startling fact upon me. It came as an almost verbal impression: Quit expecting your husband to be God.

It hit like a jolt of electricity. All the things I’d craved from my husband—mind reading, soul-searching, total acceptance, and perfect love—had never been in his job description. Those roles belong only to the true lover of my soul and lifter of my head.

And so I quit. Not all at once, not perfectly, but I gradually let go of those expectations. If Bill wasn’t equipped to read my mind then I had no right to get mad when he gave advice instead of a hug. I started making things easier on the poor guy. Today, if I need a hug I walk up to him and nestle into his chest…and his arms slide around me. Once I accepted that he was not the one designed to be the perfect lover of my soul, I took a dear friend’s advice and started “giving him a pass.” I’m trying to be sensitive to his moods and what kind of day he’s had. Today he might not respond the way I hope he will, but tomorrow I may be gloriously surprised.

When I finally understood that Bill didn’t possess the ability to love and accept me unconditionally, I made an effort to become easier to love. I take a few extra minutes in front of the mirror in the morning. (If I don’t like what I see, why should he?) I’m working at becoming more of a giver than a taker, and putting his needs above mine. I’m trying to be lavish with compliments, encouragement, and time, and stingy with criticism.

I have a lot to learn and a long way to go, but this one revelation, which should have been obvious to me decades ago, has turned our marriage around. The pressure is off my husband because I now acknowledge there is only One Who knows my thoughts before they reach my tongue, Who “gets me” like no other, and Who loves me perfectly and unconditionally. I shouldn’t be surprised that Bill is much more willing to give when my hands aren’t stretched out demanding that he fill them. And when I took that expectation off of Bill, my eyes began to open to just how unbelievably amazing it is to be wholly loved by the Creator of the Universe. In His arms, there is nothing missing.

Becky Melby has been married to Bill, her high school sweetheart, for 38 years. They have four married sons and eleven fabulous grandchildren. Becky has co-authored nine books for Heartsong Presents. A recent release, Stillwater Promise, is about reconciliation in marriage. Becky is currently working on a contemporary fiction series with a historical thread. To find out more about Becky or her books, visit her at beckymelby.blogspot.com/ or www.melby-wienke.com.

5 Responses to “Something Missing”

  1. Kelly said

    Wow! Very powerful!

  2. How many times have I thought the same thing? It’s irrational and ridiculous, but so many women fall into the same trap. It’s a plague, really. Thanks, Kathy, for the reminder that only God can fill our needs.

  3. Dave Reyher said

    Very insightful, Thank you

  4. As usually happens when you take a stand on something, I had a chance to practice the things I’d written about just this week. Expectations are hard to extinguish. Thanks to all who stopped by to read and thank you, Jennifer, for the opportunity.

  5. Lisa Lickel said

    Wow, Becky, thanks for visiting and sharing a piece of yourself.
    Still looking for your info for Wisconsin Author Review!:)

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,243 other followers

%d bloggers like this: